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Epistemic FrictionAn Essay on Knowledge, Truth, and Logic$
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Gila Sher

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768685

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768685.001.0001

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A Substantivist Theory of Truth

A Substantivist Theory of Truth

Chapter:
(p.131) 7 A Substantivist Theory of Truth
Source:
Epistemic Friction
Author(s):

Gila Sher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768685.003.0007

The chapter focuses on methodological questions concerning the theory of truth. Today, the most popular approach to truth is deflationist; but to be worthwhile, the friction principle says, theories have to be substantive. The chapter asks whether there is a methodological obstacle to substantive theorizing on truth. Its answer is positive: due to the exceptionally broad and diverse array of truths, the theory of truth faces a serious disunity problem. But this problem is not unique to truth. Comparing the disunity problem of truth to that of science as a whole (science as the theory of nature), the chapter draws lessons from scientists’ solution to this problem, offering a set of guidelines for a substantive theory of truth. Specific points of discussion include: radical and moderate disunity challenges, “myth of the criterion”, “myth of the common denominator”, the unity problem, truth pluralism, and platitudes vs. substantive principles.

Keywords:   truth, deflationism, substantivism, unity and disunity, radical vs. moderate disunity, myth of the criterion, myth of the common denominator, pluralism, platitudes vs. substantive principles

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